Skip to main content

Camping Sycamore Campground


Hurrah! A successful camping trip to Sycamore Campground, Point Mugu: the first of many I hope. We saw dolphins in the green-gray ocean and a mother and father bird feeding insects to their brood in a tree hole just above our eating area. We bushwhacked our way through a jungle of mustard to find an overgrown trail that took us to an ocean vista. We wet our feet, or in the case of the children their entire bodies, in the frigid pacific, and built sand castles. We ate the simplest of meals and had great fellowship with all the families that went. We're definitely doing this again.

Five families from church all decided back in November to reserve spots for camping this May, and none of us had ever attempted tent camping with our children. Between the five of us, there were thirteen kids, so the little ones all ran around like wild squirrels. The Villas set up a "play tent" where much giggling and rough-housing occurred. Sometimes the children rode each other's bikes. Sometimes they climbed in the trees or tromped through the understory. Sometimes they played hide and seek. And sometimes they mooched food off others.

Sycamore Canyon is aptly named because of the massive sycamore trees surrounding the campground. These served as a playground. Several boys, including Lee & Dietrich, climbed high enough to make their mamas nervous.

Kanon, Rose, Zion, Lee, Addie, and Levi on our natural jungle gym.
So many kids!
We were very appreciative of Richard Villa's bike-fixing-air-mattress-filling-skills as we set up camp. Most of the first day was spent figuring out our tents and deciding how to cook our dinners. Powerful gusts of wind made this particularly tricky. In the later evening the wind died down, and around 9 pm the campground quieted for the night. The adults chatted for a bit around the fire before we retiring to sound of the waves crashing on the beach. Phil and I had the best night's sleep we've ever had camping because of the air mattress he borrowed from a co-worker. I think we'll have to invest in one of these. And Benny only woke once for his usual feeding.

Rose and Lee climbing
The next morning was our hike: an almost two mile loop on a small footpath to a beautiful view. The hills were green and fresh and blooming with lupin and California daisies and mustard and monkey flowers and wild roses. Phil carried Benny who slept in the carrier and I carried the map to lead the way. 


Rose, Lee, Richard, Addie, Phil, Benny, Tai, Eric, Max, and myself at our lookout location.
Rose said her highlight was running in the waves with her friend, NaYoung. They chased and were chased by the waves while Phil and Lee made sand castles. I sat on the sand with Benny and chatted with Josie Oldenburg about psychology. Benny squeezed the sand in his little fists and practiced cruising on our beach chairs.

Phil and Lee build a city of sand. Rose chases the waves in the background.
We ate well and brought plenty of yummy, easy food including sugary cereals, hot dogs,  avocado tacos, cliff bars, cans of soup put right on the grill, and smores made with dark chocolate. We enjoyed the soft strum of the guitar from the Villa's camp in the quiet of our afternoon. And almost everyone doted on Benny. 
Rose, NaYoung, Addie & Lucy gathering around Benny because he was so cute.
Benny was so content during the trip and loved all the people doting on him.
The weather report for Sunday said rain was imminent, so we packed under a light sprinkle. Phil proudly showed me the artful knots he'd made to secure our tarp bundle to the car's roof rack. We ate our dinners together around the fire and after smores, we headed out about 6:30 pm. We tucked the little sleepers into their beds by 8:30 before hopping into the shower ourselves. I enjoyed scrubbing all three children in their baths the next day.

Other highlights included: coming through the tunnel where the 10 freeway meets the 1 and seeing the ocean for the first time, LA's sparkling lights on the drive home, Dietrich enjoying holding Benny, Jewish Nation hot dogs, heating our kettle on Phil's Biolite stove, the Oldenburg's sharing their fire logs with us, Benny learned to whistle, Benny eating his applesauce while entertaining a small crowd of onlookers with his funny baby noises, tall towers of Yucca blooms, little rabbits that look like Bigwig, kids eating their entire candy supplies on the car ride there, perfect weather on Saturday, cups of hot tea, feeling sun-baked and wind-blown and gritty but happy.

I'm putting my packing list here for future reference.


Sleeping
-2 Tents
-4 sleeping bags 
-4 insulate pads
- pillows

Baby
-diapers, cream, powder, changing pad
-baby carrier
-Pack and Play with sheet and safety pins
-High Chair w/ bib
-Sun hat
-nursing cover
-bottle & formula
-toys
-Umbrella Stroller

Eating: put items in a box
-kitchen towels
-prep table 
-Big water Jug
-Water Bottles
-Paper plates
-Hot items mugs
-Utensils and sharp knives
-Hot water kettle
-table cloth
-cutting mat
-napkins
-dish soap
-Skewers
-sponge
-Aluminum foil
-Trash bags
-Ice Chest w/ Dry Ice 

Fire
-firewood
-Fire Tongs
-Hatchet
-Matches
-Camp Chairs
-Bio-lite stove
-Lantern 
-Lantern Fuel & Mantels
-Flashlights
-AAA batteries

Personal items
-Sunscreen 
-bug repellent 
-baby powder to get sand off
-Cash for showers
-Phones and chargers

Misc
-Kids bikes
-Cones
-Helmets
-Tire pump
-Beach towels
-Hammocks
-Rope
-Beach toys
-First Aid Kit
-Beach Blanket
-Playing cards

Kids
-Rain boots
-Robes
-Bathroom Bags
-Stick Sunscreen 
-kid’s markers & Chalk

Comments

Robin said…
What a wonderful camping trip! I agree, it's really nice to do with other families for all the reasons you described. What a lovely place. I'm so glad you had such a good first experience! :-) A. Robin

Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Testimony

I didn't used to want to be baptized. I was too stubborn. I was determined to be the upright, genuine Christian who wasn't baptized—something of a superior class, I suppose. All that physical symbolism was for the archaic layman or the really emotional sort or the person who's afraid baptism is necessary for salvation. It's not for me. It's not for the steady, reliable believer who's doesn't have a big conversion story. I was in preschool when I prayed the prayer. In 6th grade, I gained a deeper understanding of sin while bickering with my siblings in the backseat of the family van. When I was 16, I began a daily quiet time with the Lord. And now at 36, I'm hearing the Lord asking me to make my faith work. Make the rubber meet the road. Get out of "morbid introspection and into deeds," out of "anxious hesitation and into the storm of events" (Rohr & Ebert, 129-130). Stop retreating into my head to figure out God and salvation

Why the Enneagram Numbers Quarantine

Type 1: The Reformer     I quarantine because it's the right thing to do and everyone ought to be doing their part for society by following the same procedures. Type 2: The Helper     No, I'm not concerned about myself, but I quarantine for everyone else. I want to help my neighbors feel safe, and I would absolutely die if I found out I had passed on the virus to someone else. Type 3: The Performer    I quarantine because that's what's expected of me, right? Plus, think about how bad it would look if I didn't. Type 4: The Individualist     I would've loved to quarantine before all this started but now that everyone is doing it, I'm not so sure I want to follow along. I guess I'll quarantine but somehow find a way to still remain exceptional. Type 5: The Observer     I might quarantine. I might not. I probably will while researching the facts about this virus. When I know enough, I'll make a final decision. Type 6: The Guardian     I q

Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along, But I don't want to hear them fight. I want them to feel their emotions and understand them, But I don't want them to slam doors or be sassy. I want them to be respectful to adults, But I don't want to be embarrassed when they say something totally inappropriate. I want them to choose to obey me, But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't. I want them to fill their own time with play, But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or carve into the walls or cut through the upholstery with scissors. I want them to be good. But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good. I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband, But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness. I want to have friends who are different than me, But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions. I wa